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Stop ruining these 7 types of clothes in the wash

Not all items can be tossed in the washing machine and survive the hot water, soap and tumble dry cycle.  Then again, some unlikely items CAN go in the wash that you didn’t think could!  They just need a few precautions.  Here are seven types of items that should be treated with a little TLC.

(Note: these are general guidelines – always defer to the directions on your clothing’s tag.)

  1. Swimsuits
    Swimsuits do not belong in the washing machine.  After you wear your suit, give it a quick rinse under cold water and lay out to dry – simple!   If you’ve swum in very chlorinated water (or every few wears), fill a sink with cold water and add a capful of mild liquid detergent like Bosisto’s Allergen Laundry Liquid.  Turn your suit inside out, and hand wash in the sink.  After about 15 minutes, rinse away any remaining detergent and lay out flat to dry.

    Tip: Do not “wring” out swimsuits, you could misshape them.
     
  2. Bras
    Despite what you may have heard, you can put bras in the washing machine.
    There are just a few rules.  Always use a delicates bag, only wash in cold water and put the bras in a cycle by themselves.  And the most important rule: never, ever use the dryer!  Hang the bras over a clothes horse or on the washing line and let them dry naturally (allow about 24 hours if inside).
     
  3. Lacy Lingere
    Black lacy lingere is one thing; faded grey doesn’t have quite the same effect!  Treat your smalls with care, and wash them in the same way you would a swimsuit (ie. handwash in cold, with mild detergent and lay flat to dry naturally).  Make sure you keep them out of the dryer, where the rough and tumble can easily create tears, and away from UV sunlight, which can alter the colour.
     
  4. Stiched sports vests/ jerseys
    If your family own basketball, baseball or footy “jerseys” with stiched-on letters and numbers, these also require special care.
    First, pre-treat any stains or spills with a gentle stain remover like Bosisto’s Pre-Wash.  Then, turn the top inside out to protect the stiching, and wash on a normal cycle.  The most important thing is not to put them in the dryer (lay flat to dry instead - inside or outside) and NOT to iron, because the high temperatures can melt the letters and numbers.
     
  5. Waterproof clothing
    These are things like ski pants and rain coats.  Just to be clear you only need to wash these items about once a season.  When it’s wash time, first zip all of the zippers.  Then, machine wash in warm water using a washing detergent specifically made for waterproof gear (try this).  Run them through the rinse cycle twice to ensure all the soap is washed away.  You should always line dry your waterproof clothing (in the sunshine is fine).
     
  6. Denim
    Coloured jeans and dark washes especially have a rough time in the regular wash cycle.  To prevent fading, wash your jeans inside out on a delicates cycle and only with other jeans.  Go for cold water only, and add a tablespoon of salt to the load.  Salt prevents bleeding, meaning your denim will hold onto its colour, longer.  Dryer or no dryer?  It’s up to you.  It won’t technically harm jeans, but it can shrink them (some people like the feeling, others don’t).
     
  7. Downy items
    Puffer vests, jackets etc. filled with down are actually surprisingly low maintenance.  You can pop them in the washing machine and dryer, you just have to follow a few precautions.  Cold water only.  Gentle detergent.  Low heat.  When down clothes are in the dryer, add a few tennis balls to keep the down fluffy.